Most of the shops on the tour I had some knowledge of before I got to, be it from having been there already or lots of online interaction, I felt fairly certain about what I was getting into. Philadelphia PA’s Sexploratorium though, I referred to as my “unknown entity” shop. I had heard good things but I couldn’t get ahold of anyone via email (fun fact: email can be rough with sex shops because they are extra susceptible to spam because, you know, sex) , the website isn’t very representative of what the physical shop is like*, I just wasn’t sure. All I knew for sure was that it was 3 stories tall. I had a conversation with someone a few days before I went in where we said “Three stories leaves a lot of room for crappy toys and numbing cream” (we may have named specific names)
But, when a three-story sex shop gets everything right? DAMN. Welcome to Sexploratorium
So, what does a three floor sex shop that doesn’t have crap have? I’ll break it down by floor. Here goes:
Front room: Vibrators, Dildos, Anal Toys, Books, Lubricant and I’m sure I’m forgetting something. This collection was clearly painstakingly curated, the toys were all high quality, represented a range of price points and some were just cool! Hello- funky silcione dildos from Maine!
Rear room: Penis and prostate toys – an entire room of toys for folks with cocks! Without gross misogynistic toys!
Kink: Cuffs, collars, blindfolds, floggers, paddles, rope ball-gags, spreader bars, under bed restraint systems
More kink: The only things I really remember were a very intense bunny head, a straight jacket and a gas mask but I know I’m forgetting stuff from both here and the second floor. As is mentioned in the questions later on, if you want it for your dungeon, I’m pretty sure Sexploratorium has it. This is the only place I saw a fire play kit!*
Art Gallery– Gorgeous erotic art
I had brought a friend with me and kept grabbing his arm and going “How is everything in here good?!” Funnily the first person we met upon arrival identified herself as the store’s buyer- I had to shake her hand because she is seriously killing it at her job.
Frankly, the stock at Passional was pretty amazing too- it took a lot of control to not leave with a corset/skirt/heels outfit. Seriously, so much gorgeous stuff!!
Now, Sexploratorium is about more than stuff though. they are also all about educating and providing great experiences. From their wide array of Passion101 classes to the framed notice I spied informing patrons that the staff was there to help and educate and if ever they felt anything else was happening they were to let management know- ASAP, this place brings it.
Sexploratorium’s Education Coordinator (Yeah, they have one of those!) Andrea was kind enough to take the time to answer the Seven Superhero Sex Shop Questions. Check it out:
What makes Sexploratorium unique?
We have the most diverse selection of toys I have ever seen at any toy store. Our product line includes everything from basic vibrators and dildos, to designer toys, to toys designed specifically for penises and prostates, to light/beginner BDSM toys, to really extreme BDSM toys, to sex/dungeon furniture, to latex hoods and leather puppy tails. Seriously, if you can think of it, we have it somewhere in our three-story building! What’s more, if you’re looking for something sexy to wear while using your toys, we also have our fetishwear predecessor/sister store, Passional Boutique, located half a block away. Passional carries real steal boned corsets, high quality kilts, leather and latex clothing, and other high fashion fetish and fantasy-wear.
Entering a sex shop for the first time can be daunting. Any advice to first time shoppers?
Take a deep breath, and relax! Stores that focus on health, safety, and high quality products also tend to hire an open-midned, knowledgeable, and friendly staff. Get recommendations (or check out RedHeadBedHead’s list) of what stores will be the most welcoming and helpful. Going to the “right” store can seriously make all the difference!
Any favorite moments/great stories?
Oh jeeze. I don’t even know where to begin…we do have opportunities to educate (and we definitely change lives) every day. I personally love working on our kink floor and opening the minds of those who have never seen real floggers or have never heard of medical play. It’s great to be able to give people something new to consider, or at least some accurate information that they can pass on to their friends and partners.
You’re trapped on a desert island (that contains a magical tree which grows batteries and has an electrical outlet in the trunk). What 5 sex toys/products available from Sexploratorium do you want with you? (Follow the links to check out the products at one of my associate shops.)
1.Hitachi Magic Wand (It’s a staple for everyone’s collection)
2.Neon Wand (You can shock your way to ecstasy! Great for light massage, or heavy pain play.)- Jumping in to say I didn’t know of the existence of this until the tour. Where have I been?
3.Njoy Fun Wand (Three words: metal anal beads… GENIOUS!)
4.Vixskin Lonestar (For those looking for a realistically phallic toy, this-or any Vixskin toy- is the closest thing you’ll get to a penis on a desert island.)
5.Waterslide Lube (I’ve never seen it in any other toy store, and it’s the perfect lube for folks with allergies and sensitive skin. It only has THREE ingredients!)
What is your favorite toy material? Why?
Glass. Hands down. It’s such a versatile and unique material. Glass is sterilizable and body safe. You can put it in a freezer or a bowl of warm water to play with temperature. The weight of glass does wonders for the g-spot, too. So many people fear glass, and it is honestly my mission to let people know that, no, glass toys will not break off in any of your [or your partner(s)]orifices! I promise! As long as it doesn’t have any visible cracks before you use it, you’re safe.
What is the most popular item at Sexploratorium?
That’s a really tricky question to answer. Our store has such a wide variety of products, and we have best sellers in each department… we have A LOT of departments. If I had to choose a brand that sells best, though, I’d have to say LELO. Not only do they have super high quality vibrators (with a 10 year warrantee through the company, no less), they also created a line of beginner kink products that do well on our kink floor.
Any cool upcoming projects?
Every week we hold Passion101 classes that cover a large variety of topics, including, but not limited to- anatomy, relationships, toys, BDSM/Kink, LGBTQ issues, erotic dance, fetish-wear/lingerie, sexual technique, and tantra. On our classes blog, www.passion101classes.com, you can keep up with all of our upcoming workshops and events.
What’s on the Sexploratorium store soundtrack?
We’re actually really lucky, in that, employees can listen to basically anything they want at work. We all just plug in our iPods during our shifts. I have to say, my coworkers all have really great taste in music. I don’t even need Pandora anymore, because I can get all my new music just by hanging out at work.
Thank you so much to Sexploratorium and Passional for being a part of the Superhero Sex Shop Tour! Folks, if you are in the Philadelphia area (and, seriously, even if you’re not) go check them out, this place is seriously awesome!Sexploratorium is located at: 620 South 5th Street Philadelphia, PA 19147
*While the shop (shops actually, this goes for both) is amazing, the web presence is decidedly not. Each shop and the Passion101 classes all have individual sites and none of them are nearly as good as the shops. Don’t judge the shops by the websites. They don’t do them justice at all. On a scale of 1 to 10 the sites are a 3 and the shops are a 13.
**Now that I said thatI’ll just stand back and wait for the other shops to tell me that they totally had them